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Sittin' on the dock of the bay...

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by SalopSt, Nov 12, 2012.

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  1. SalopSt

    SalopSt Member

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    Minding my own business on Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Boston, MA. Just me, a small bowl of OJK, and my two boys filling out the NPS booklets for their junior ranger badges. Beautiful day.... right up until the point that a city cop decided that he has spotted some sort of malfeasance.

    It took waaay to long to convince the fellow that it was just tobacco that I was smoking, and that I was not endangering the lives of young citizens of the Commonwealth! On balance I have to say he was pretty cool about it in the end, but I am still seething at the assumption, and annoyed at the disruption to an otherwise awesome day.

    (P.S. There's free wi-fi in that park!)

    //rant over
     
  2. gentimmy

    gentimmy Active Member

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    must of been one dumb cop if the smell didn't tip him off
     
  3. Raffxr7

    Raffxr7 Active Member

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    I have learned that I must carry a pouch or tin with me, in case some illiterate-to-piping-cop shows up. The last one I dealt with saw a pipe in my ash tray, and a tool bag full of mason jars of tobacco and other pipes. He left me alone about that, but was a total $%*(*&$%Ŷ&U* with his misinterpretation of the legal transportation of firearms. He loved threatening to take me to jail, despite no crime having been committed. It always stinks to be assumed to be a criminal.
     
    user3221 and PipeWife like this.
  4. SalopSt

    SalopSt Member

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    I guess he was not a burley guy:loser:
     
  5. IrishRover

    IrishRover Active Member

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    That had to have been one annoying situation. I would have been so very angry at his actions. - and to think Boston is one of my favorite cities.
     
  6. Skiballa

    Skiballa Member

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    Surprising, by the way, the smell associated with the other smokeable plant matter is no longer considered probable cause in the Commonwealth. Sounds to me like the guy was just being a jackhole(my new forum friendly term).
     
    colorduke likes this.
  7. JBWright

    JBWright Member

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    Edit: Note taken Mr. Berg.
     
  8. jpberg

    jpberg Moderator Moderator

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    While I understand the Op's frustration, let's not turn this into an F-the police or 2nd amendment thread.
     
  9. JBWright

    JBWright Member

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    Not my intent but I see how it could turn out that way. Edited it out.
     
  10. krusty

    krusty Active Member

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    I've wondered how I'd handle such a situation. Indignation or reserved compliance with an officers inquiries.
    I enjoy the imagined scenarios that go with the former but would prolly cede to the latter in reality.

    I've only actually had one interaction with law enforcement and the pipe. State cruiser passing me on the highway, the officer riding shotgun did a double-take on the pipe I was clenching. This was followed with a grin and thumbs up when he assumed, rightly so, that the cob indicated tobacco.

    Here's to hoping there was some form of positive take from for your boys SalopSt!
     
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  11. SalopSt

    SalopSt Member

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    Thanks, krusty! Well, it was an amazingly beautiful day, so I was not feeling particularly militant anyway. My eldest, being space mad, was particularly helpful with blurting out that "Buzz Aldrin smoked a pipe three weeks before he went to the moon!" Some laughter from me and said cop.

    I guess my point in posting this little story was not to inflame, but to get off my chest the fact that I cannot get my head around the almost certain assumption that pipe smoking == illicit. I find this all the more frustrating after having spent a few weeks in the south of France with my youngest this summer, and no one batted an eyelid.
     
    Mount Mandolin, krusty and Old Codger like this.
  12. t-bear

    t-bear Well-Known Member

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    I've had the same experience to a degree, whille filling my pipe parked in a parking lot, but once the officer got a whiff from the baggie on my dash (that's what attracted him, BTW), he grinned and wished me a nice day. As it was a brief encounter, and he didn't get in my face, I responded in kind.

    As an aside...I understand law enforcements position on illegal drugs, and there *is* a tendency by users of them to try to avoid suspicion and apprehension. It's their job to assume the worst. I have no problem with being stopped by the police...they are doing their job. The vast majority of them know the difference between legal and illegal, and once they've assured themselves that you are not breaking the law, will treat you with respect, if you do the same. As you said, in the end, it ended well, and the next time you see the officer in question, you will probably get a wave and a smile...he may even stop to chat a bit.
     
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  13. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    I don't usually smoke my pipes in public, but I have gotten a couple of wary looks when I'm blazing away at a Falcon full of Ten Russians. I tend to stick to my full briars when puffing at music fests and brew fests. I also make a concerted effort to only carry tins or a proper snuff box when using snuff in public. Bullets and vials garner unwanted attention, especially if they're labelled things like "Dholakia White" and "Toque Coke."

    While I know I am doing nothing illegal, they don't. No need to draw their attention away from the other drunken chuckleheads on account that I feel like being anachronistic. Doesn't excuse some rookie from acting a jerk, which dos happen from time to time, but it is a cop's job to investingate the unusual and possibly illegal.
     
  14. ch3360

    ch3360 Member

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    With 12 years and counting of law enforcement experience I can say I've never confused the odor of cannabis with pipe tobacco or anything else........ It's a pretty distinct smell.

    However, I've seen newer officers do a double take when they come across a pipe and bag of tobacco. Sometimes they ask what it is and sometimes they get told what it is.

    I know first hand that the accusatory stand for law enforcement officers is not the best way to handle things..... Most people (the police included) are good people just trying to make it in today's world. Sometimes officers get jaded from dealing with to much of the bad society offers. However, I believe it falls on the officer to make every attempt to be professional and courteous.
     
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  15. jpberg

    jpberg Moderator Moderator

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    Johnny, they look at you warily when you aren't using tobacco products. Just sayin.
     
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  16. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    This is very true. I attract cop-attention like moths to a floodlight.
     
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  17. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    In this area, I don't think that cops are mistaking the smoke for cannabis in many cases. Something that doesn't smell like conventional tobacco might draw attention in that it might be "legal incense" (which is no longer legal in NY) or some other designer drug. Lots of these young cops have probably never even smelled real pipe smoke, the practice has become so rare. The designer stuff gets people acting like real psychos. I'm betting a cop would rather somebody be smoking the green as opposed to something that is likely to get somebody acting like a frothing madman. With that in mind, it might even be reasonable for law enforcent to look into an unusual-smelling smoke.
     
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  18. aieeegrunt

    aieeegrunt Member

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    [just ignore, I'm in a pissy mood today]
     
  19. Griz

    Griz Active Member

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    Since I'm new to pipe smoking I have a general question as this seems to happen more than I would have thought after reading this thread. Does age seem to play a factor in this? Younger men with pipes, at least around here, is very uncommon but older gents ( like myself ) seem to be about in smaller but noticeable numbers.

    Just curious what the consensus is.
     
  20. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    My usual observations, as far as reactions to my own public smoking, is that one man smoking a pipe is unusual. Two men smoking one pipe is suspicious. Two men each smoking their own pipe is just two men smoking their pipes.

    I'm sure age, dress, race and context all play a part in how one is viewed while having a pipe. I could go into various examples as to how society might react to an individual given that subject's appearance and surroundings, possibly citing established sociological theory, but I am lazy and do not particularly care to do so at this time (in spite of the fact that such an exercise would be the first time in 11 years that I would find use for my sociology degree).
     
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